What could a brewing company and a school system possibly have in common? The straightforward answers are – building and energy concerns, social impacts, and costs associated with the business. While New Belgium Brewing Company, Inc. and Waltham Public Schools fall on opposite ends of the industry spectrum, they both employ management systems to address these issues.
Like many sustainability endeavors, the story began with a grassroots effort when employees at New Belgium Brewing Company raised their environmental concerns. Aiming to be a model in the industry, the company responded by incorporating Planet Earth within its strategic planning and created a Sustainable Management System (SMS). Similarly, the City of Waltham, Massachusetts has an Environmental Management System (EMS) for its 12 public schools, offering an elaborate energy management plan and environmental policy modeled after ISO 14001.
Although in 2 very different industry sectors, both case studies use the same approach; as described in our previous blog, the continual approach is useful for measuring environmental impacts, setting targets and plans, establishing policy, and consistent review. Using the same methodology also allows for the same end goal: business and environmental sustainability.
The New Belgium Brewing Company precisely describes the importance of management systems, “Transparency and authenticity are central to our culture. Authenticity means our actions match the things we say about ourselves. Transparency shines a light on our successes and our shortcoming so that our stakeholders can be the judge of our authenticity. The SMS will help us to achieve more of both.”
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